Welcome to Eating Elephant

Oh, hi. I’m starting a content strategy blog.

“Oh, great. Another one.”

No. Seriously. This one’s different. This one isn’t just stats and steps and primers. It’s also thoughts and big concepts and goofy content-related things. It’s for content people. It’s for Web people. It’s for people who don’t deal with content OR Web.

I’ll admit, though – mostly, it’s for me: Corey Vilhauer, content strategist and user experience strategist at Blend Interactive, a rollicking little Web shop in the middle of the Midwest.

I like this stuff. I want to write about it. I hope you’ll find something in it.

Why “Eating Elephant?”

See, there’s this great A List Apart article by Kristina Halvorson (“The Discipline of Content Strategy” – remember that one?) that has this great Kevin Cornell illustration of four people trying to figure out how to eat an elephant.

That cliché. It’s what we do in this field, right?

How do you develop a content strategy? How do you get a client to understand not just why they need to pay attention to the stuff on the page, but what the hell content strategy is IN THE FIRST PLACE?!

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

(Also: the domain was available.)

So, Why Me?

Because I want to. Isn’t that reason enough?

Like most content strategists or content marketers or content whatever-whatevers, my title came along years after I had already begun strategizing content. I was a copywriter. Before that, I was a blogger. Before that, I was an intense categorizer, aspiring librarian, Dewey decimal system fan, etc. I organize my Skittles by color before I eat them. (I wish I was kidding.)

We call ourselves content strategists because we do it for a living. We know how to do it because we’ve been doing it – in spirit – our whole lives.

Great. Done Talking Yet?

Never.

But for now, yes. Until the next post.

I’ve prepopulated the site with a handful of things I’ve written on my personal site (Black Marks on Wood Pulp) and on Blend Interactive’s site. They’re from two sites, and they possess two different voices, so expect things to change.

Be gentle.

2 Comments:

  1. Pingback: Eating Elephant « Black Marks on Wood Pulp / by Corey Vilhauer

  2. Of course, my metaphors have been mixed. The Cornell illustration in Kristina’s ALA article refers to the fable of the elephant and the blind men: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_men_and_an_elephant

    The original idea for the name came after reading a line in Kristina’s book, Content Strategy for the Web, in which this same image is captioned “How do you eat the elephant in the room?”

    One image, two contexts, three meanings.

    Big thanks to Peggy Kapusta (@PeggyKapusta) at Augustana College for pointing this out.